By ELAINE KURTENBACH, AP Business Writer
Stocks fell in Tokyo and Sydney on Friday, when the stock closed almost flat on Wall Street, although the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite still hit record highs.
Most Asian markets were closed to mark the lunar new year.
Investors remain cautiously optimistic about the prospects of a new round of government aid as the economic recovery is largely correct.
The latest US government report about jobless claims confirmed that employment is a weak spot in the economy, even as the delivery of vaccines eventually ramps up in the hope of ending the epidemic.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.3% to 29,460.56 and the A & P / ASX 200 closed 0.5% down at 6,814.90.
Weak economic data are serving “in the glass fog”, Stephen Ines of Ashi said in a comment.
“Global markets continue to trade mixed echoes that Sober remains silent as a data view partnership, suggesting investors are kajoling slightly more than signs of more pronounced economic smoke on the horizon before coming back to the saddle Necessity, ”said Ins.
Although another day of choppy trading on Wall Street, the major US stock index fell almost flat on Thursday, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composites still reached all-time highs.
The S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 3,916.38. Technology stocks made gains after two relatively weak days, almost single-handed losses by energy stocks, banks and companies that depend on consumer spending.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury notes rose to 1.16% from 1.15% late Wednesday after touching 1.20% earlier this week.
Wall Street is still digesting signs of solid corporate income and declining new virus cases.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 0.1% to 31,430.70, a day after setting a record high. The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.4% to 14,025.77. Its previous all-time high was Tuesday.
Shares of the small company gained an edge. The Russell 2000 index rose 0.1% to 2,285.32. The index has increased by 15.7% this year, while the S&P 500 has risen by 4.3%.
Democrats in Congress are working on a $ 1.9 trillion relief package that would include direct payments to people and more unemployed assistance because unemployment is high.
The number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits fell to 793,000 last week. The job market experienced some improvement last summer but has slowed down since the fall. The epidemic has caused the loss of about 10 million jobs.
The companies continued to report mostly solid earnings on Thursday, adding to a surprisingly good earnings season. Kraft Heinz climbed 4.9% and Zillow Group jumped 17.8% after beating Wall Street’s fourth-quarter profit forecasts.
Epidemics and trade offs are still harming many companies and offsetting their financial consequences. Molson Coors fell 9.1% to the biggest drop in the S&P 500, with its profits declining after expectations as sales were impacted by a trade-off in Europe.
Shares of online dating service operator Bumble soared 63.5% in its first day trading. And cannabis stocks fell roughly the day before amid a race partly bought by members of the same online forum that hated Gametop and other beaten-down companies in recent weeks.
Aphria and Tilray, the Canadian hemp companies that agreed to combine in December, fell 35.8% and 49.7%, respectively. So far this year, Aphria has more than doubled, while Tilre has almost quadrupled in value. Sundial Growers fared better, recovering from an opening slide to gain 3.1%. This year its price has increased more than six times.
MasterCard shares rose 2.6% after the payment processing company said it would begin integrating cyber currencies into its payment network, allowing people to potentially transfer bitcoin-like currencies from customer to merchant. According to the online currency brokerage Coinbase, Bitcoin’s announcement also gained more than 4%.
In other trade, US benchmark crude lost 47 cents to $ 57.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. This left 44 cents to $ 58.24 overnight. Brent crude fell 43 cents to $ 60.71 a barrel internationally.
The US dollar rose from 104.75 yen to 104.82 Japanese yen. The euro slipped from $ 1.2131 to $ 1.2120.
AP trade writers Damian J. Troese and Alex Vega contributed.
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